Cesky Terrier Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.
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Official Standard of the Cesky Terrier General Appearance - The Cesky Terrier was developed to be a well-muscled, short legged and well-pigmented hunting terrier with natural drop ears and a natural tail. Correct coat and color are important. The Cesky is longer than it is tall and has a topline that rises slightly higher over the loin and rump. It sports a soft, silky coat in two color varieties, gray and coffee, the coffee color being extremely rare. The correct coat is clipped, not hand-stripped. The hallmarks of the breed should be unique unto itself with a lean body and graceful movement. They are reserved towards strangers, loyal to their owners, but ever keen and alert in their surroundings. Size, Proportion Substance - Ideal Measurements - Height –The ideal Cesky should be 11½ inches at the withers for dogs, 10½ inches for bitches. Weight - ideally between 13 and 22 pounds, bitches weighing slightly less. Length - The length of the body, measured from sternum to buttocks should be in a ratio of approximately 1½ (Length) to 1 (Height). The overall balance is more important than any single specification. Head - About 7 to 8 inches long, 3 to 4 inches wide and shaped like a long, blunt wedge. The plane of the forehead forms a slight but definite stop. The breadth between the ears is slightly larger for a dog than a bitch. The head should join the neck smoothly. Eyes - Almond shaped of medium size. Slightly deep set. The color is brown or dark brown; the color being lighter in coffee-colored dogs. Ears - Medium size, dropping in such a way to well cover the orifice. Ears are set rather high, the fold not to protrude over the top of the skull, with forward edge lying close to the cheek. Shaped like a triangle, with the shorter side of the triangle at the fold of the ear, that is longer than wide. Skull – Occipital protuberance easy to palpate, cheek bones moderately prominent. Frontal furrow only slightly marked. A shallow indentation running down the brows, and joining the muzzle with a moderate stop. Muzzle - Nasal bridge straight. Narrow foreface undesirable. Nose dark and well developed. The color is black in gray dogs, liver in coffee colored dogs. Teeth set square in a strong jaw, sound and regular, and of good size and full dentition. Either scissor or level bite is acceptable. Neck, Topline and Body - Neck – Well muscled and strong. Medium-long, carried in a slight arch. Set firmly on the shoulders. Topline –A slight rise over the loin and rump. In profile, the highest point of the topline past the withers should be at the rump (not a roached back). Body – Fully muscled, longer than high. Withers not very pronounced with the neck set rather high. Rump is strongly developed, muscular; pelvis moderately slanting with the hip bones, slightly higher than the withers. Flanks should be well fitted with an ample but slightly tucked up belly. The chest should be cylindrical with well sprung ribs. The loins should be relatively long, muscular, broad and slightly rounded. Tail – The ideal length is 7 to 8 inches, set following the line of the rump. Tail may be carried downward, or with a slight bend at tip; or carried saber shaped horizontally or higher. All of these tail carriages are considered correct with none having preference over the other. A tail carried over the back almost touching the back, a gay or squirrel tail, reflects an incorrect tail set and is incorrect for the breed. Forequarters - The shoulders should be muscular, well laid back and powerful. The elbows should fit closely to the sides; somewhat loose, neither turned in nor out. The forelegs should be short, straight, well boned and parallel. Dewclaws may be present. Forefeet should be large, with well-arched toes, strong nails and well-developed pads. Hindquarters - Hind legs should be strong, well-muscled with strong and well developed hocks that are well let down and parallel to each other. The hind feet should be smaller than the forefeet
but have well arched toes, strong nails and be well padded. The thighs are longer in proportion to the lower leg with stifle well bent. Coat - Furnishings long, fine but firm, slightly wavy with a silky gloss; not too much overdone. The Cesky Terrier is groomed with scissors or by clipping. At the forepart of the head the hair is not to be clipped, thus forming a fall and beard. On the lower parts of the legs, under the chest and belly the hair should not be clipped either. In show condition the hair at the upper side of the neck, on the shoulders and on the back should not be longer than ½ inch; it should be shorter on the sides of the body and on the tail; and quite short on the ears, cheeks, at the lower side of the neck, on elbows, thighs and round the vent. Color - All puppies are born black, or chocolate brown. In the mature dog, the correct color is any fairly uniform shade of gray ranging from charcoal to platinum gray, or light coffee. Darker pigment may appear on the head, ears, feet and tail. White, brown and yellow markings are permitted on the beard, cheeks, neck, chest, limbs, and around the vent. A white collar or white tip on the tail is permitted. The base color must always be predominant. A brindled or reverse brindled coat is permitted in a dog up to 2 years of age. Disqualifications - White markings covering more than 20 percent of the body; white blaze on the head; brindled or reverse brindled coat in dog over age 2. Gait - The action should be free and even, with good reach in both the front and back, covering the ground effortlessly. This is a working terrier, which must have agility, freedom of movement and endurance to work. Temperament - Balanced, non-aggressive, pleasant and cheerful companion, easy to train; somewhat reserved towards strangers; of calm and kind disposition. Not to be sparred in the show ring . Faults - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree, and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog. Disqualifications A dog age 2 or older with a brindled or reverse brindled coat color. White markings covering more than 20 percent of the body; white blaze on the head. Approved November 14, 2017 Effective January 1, 2018
HISTORY In 1950, Frantisek Horak repeated a crossing of the Scottie to a Sealy, but this time using the Scottish Terrier bitch, Scotch Rose, to the same Sealyham Terrier, Buganier Urquelle. Th is breeding produced a litter of six puppies, but only one puppy had the natu- ral drop ears that he wanted from his new breed. He named this dog Balda Lovu Zdar. Balda was a brindle dog, but did become the foundation sire of the new breed, the Cesky Terrier. Mr. Horak mated Balda to his litter sister Baba Lovu Zdar, but unfortunately none of these puppies from this breeding could be used for future breeding. So, Frantisek Horak then bred Balda Lovu Zdar to his mother, the Scottish Terrier, Scotch Rose. Th is breeding, he felt, was successful having two puppies from this litter with the prop- er dropped ears he was seeking in his new breed. Th e male was named Dareba Lovu Zdar, who was brindle and the female was named Diana Lovu Zdar. Diana later became the foundation dam of the Cesky Terrier. Dareba was given to one of his friends, but died before he could be bred. Diana was born black, but eventually became grey as she aged and had the ears that Mr. Horak desired. It was at this point he decided that his new breed should be clip- pered rather than hand stripped like the other two terriers, the Scottie and the Sealyham. He felt that clipping was a much easier way for hunters to deal with grooming a true hunting Terrier. Frantisek’s next breeding was the bitch Diana Lovu Zdar to the Sealyham Jasan Amorous Artilleryman who was the son of the Sealyham Buganier Urquelle. Th is litter produced two males and one female. Th e names of Fantom, Furiant and Fenka were given to these puppies. Fantom and Fenka were both brindle in color, but the dog Furiant Lovu Zdar was born black with yellow markings, and they all had some white markings on the chest and legs. Mr. Horak chose not to use Furiant in his breeding program because he was quite large and had large markings on his neck. He then chose to breed Fantom with his sister Fenka. From this litter, only one female was born and he named her Halali Lovu Zdar. She was black and tan with white markings and eventually became the pillar of the Cesky Terrier.
I n 1932, Mr. Horak obtained his fi rst Scottish Terrier and began studying this breed’s behavior and ability to hunt. He found the Scottish Terrier excellent as a go to ground terrier and decided to breed the Scottie. He considered the breed to be quite aggressive, especially towards people, but the breed showed great prey drive. Frantisek Horak worked and lived in the town of Plzen in the Czech Republic at this time and hunt- ed with the Scottie around the woods of his village. At this time in Plzen, he made friends with another Scottish Terrier breeder who also owned Sealyham Terri- ers. It was during this friendship that Frantisek began to have thoughts and ideas about breeding the Scottish Ter- rier crossing it with the Sealyham, feeling the cross could lead to a more cooperative and successful working dog. He owned and named his kennel Lovu Zdar, which literally means hunting success. Mr. Horak moved to Klanovice in 1940. It was there and then at Klanovice that he decided to put his breed- ing idea into fruition. It was not until 1949 that he fi nally mated his then Scottish Terrier bitch, Donka Lovu Zdar to his friend’s Sealyham Terrier with the name of Buganier Urquelle. Th e result was the birth of three puppies from this fi rst breeding, but only one survived. He gave this puppy the name of Adam Lovu Zdar. Th is puppy was a brindle male, with only half hanging, large ears. Because of this, Mr. Horak decided to have them surgically changed to hang completely. Unfortunately, in 1951 this dog was shot dead during a hunt in the woods of Klanovice. Dur- ing this time, Mr. Horak requested from the Czech Terrier Club for his new breed to be named Cesky Terrier. BY JULIE GRITTEN
Halali Lovu Zdar was bred to the male Fantom Lovu Zdar and from this breeding one brown puppy was born and had a true brown nose. He was sterile, however, and was unable to be bred. He decided to cross Fantom instead to his mother Diana and they produced a brown bitch which he named Chrtry Lovu Zdar. He was brown with yellow markings. It was at this point he realized that the brown was being inherited from the Sealyham Terrier, and the brown is an inherited colored from Fantom, Diana and Halali. It was in 1959, after more breedings, that Frantisek Horak entered several dog shows and started the process of registering his new breed in the Czechoslovakian Register with the o ffi cial name of Cesky Terrier. It was in 1963 that the Cesky Terrier was o ffi cially recognized by the FCI.
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HISTORY OF THE CESKY TERRIER
By Robert Comer
he motivating concept behind creation of the Cesky Terrier was two-fold: development of a terrier that could hunt extremely well
breed with British Isles ancestry which was both a great hunter and a wonder- ful companion. With this concept in mind, he concentrated on the breeding stock of Scottish and Sealyham Terriers. Th is brilliant, thoughtful, deliberate and patient man did his homework and his research. His evolving theory included numerous dimensions of ear, head, tail, and hindquarter shape. Horak began his quest, quite natu- rally, as a devoted hunter. He purchased his fi rst Scotty in 1932, after spending four years studying the breed’s charac- teristics and hunting habits. In 1934, he was determined to breed his charges for stalking foxes, badgers, red deer, hare and other fauna of his beloved Bohe- mian wood. His involvement with Scot- ties established Horak as a well-respected Scottish Terrier breeder, but he began harboring the dream of developing a terrier that would also easily hunt in packs — an occurrence that seldom if ever happened with the Scotties he bred. In 1940, he purchased his fi rst Sealyham, a breed which was in many ways the oppo- site of the Scotty. He thought of them as better to command. Four years after the end of World War II and nine years after his ownership-study of the breeds,
Horak began his grand experiment: he bred a Scotty and a Sealyham. Th e Scotty bitch DONKA Lovu zdar bred to the Sealy dog BUGANIER Urquelle produced three pups. Horak’s accounting background enabled him to understand the advan- tage of meticulous recording. In his quest for a new terrier, he recorded every breeding nuance. In fact, his records are so detailed that it is possible for today’s Cesky breeders to follow their dog’s pedigree back to the fi rst dogs. He also understood research and the fi ne art of patience in conducting that research. In the fi rst breeding, only one dog survived; its name was ADAM Lovu zdar. He spent two years observ- ing the hunting habits of ADAM, but in 1951 the dog was shot dead, the vic- tim of a careless hunter. He repeated his breeding endeavors, crossing the Scotty bitch (Scotch Rose) with the Sealyham dog BUGANIER Urquelle. Th is match yielded six pups. From 1950 to 1963, when the Cesky Terrier was o ffi cially recognized as an independent breed by FCI ( Fédération Cynologique Internatio- nale ), Frantisek Horak worked tirelessly to bring to fruition the traits he had for so long dreamed. A full account of these
while also becoming a loving part of its human family. Th is short legged, mobile, well-muscled and well-pigmented terrier was developed to hunt alone or as part of a pack. When pursuing prey alone, it could adequately handle a ground ani- mal its own weight. When hunting in a pack, these terriers could bring down a deer or other equally large animal. Th is hunting-concept success also revealed a terrier that — at the end of a day of root- ing through woods, bogs and thickets — could be cleaned with minimal e ff ort. Th is ease of cleaning then allowed the Cesky to spend an evening snug- gling with a loving family acquiescing to the terrier’s simple appreciation of a scratched stomach or rubbed ears. Th e execution of this creative concept began with the Cesky Terrier creator, Frantisek Horak, a Czechoslovakian working fi rst as an accountant, then as a technician, at the Czechoslovak Acad- emy of Science. Horak’s personal love of hunting dogs focused on developing a
“This hunting-concept success also revealed a terrier that— AT THE END OF A DAY OF ROOTING THROUGH WOODS, BOGS AND THICKETS— COULD BE CLEANED WITH MINIMAL EFFORT.
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“TODAY, CESKY TERRIERS ARE STILL CONSIDERED A RARE BREED AND NUMBER AROUND 500 IN THE UNITED STATES.”
activities can be read (in Czech and Eng- lish) in toto je . . . Cesky Terrier by Hana Petrusova. By 1963, the Cesky Terrier (translated from Czech Terrier or Bohemian Terrier ) found its way into Germany and the Scandinavian Countries as well as east- ward to the now former Soviet Repub- lics. From this start, the Cesky migrated to England, Canada and in the 1980’s to the United States. Today, Cesky Terri- ers are still considered a rare breed and number around 500 in the United States. Th e stewards of the Cesky Terrier from the 80s through 2002 were a series of clubs primarily located on the east coast. Th e interest and devotion of these clubs resulted in the establishment of the breed in America. In 2002, the Ameri- can Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association (ACTFA) was formed and has remained custodian of the Cesky Terrier breed, taking their charges through approval
for competition in AKC Earthdog tests and for competition in AKC events such as Obedience, Tracking and Agility. E ff ective July 1, 2008, the ACTFA was chosen to serve as the AKC Parent Club, and the Cesky was eligible to compete in the AKC Miscellaneous Class. Movement into the Terrier Group occurred on July 1, 2011. Th e Cesky Terrier has appeared at Westminster and, in early 2013, the Cesky received its fi rst Group win in con- formation. Th e Cesky can also be seen routinely in luring, agility and other per- formance events — and handle themselves with the demur of a proven winner. While the Cesky Terrier is por- trayed as an aggressive accompani- ment to the hunt, Horak’s dream of a family dog is secured. As a matter of fact, one could not fi nd a more fam- ily-friendly dog. Today, living with a Cesky Terrier is exactly what Frantisek Horak envisioned.
BIO Bob Comer was
elected president of the American Cesky Ter- rier Fanciers Associa- tion, Inc. (ACTFA) in February 2012 after retiring from a 40-year career in advertising
and marketing. Th e ACTFA is the par- ent club of the Cesky Terrier in AKC. Th e Cesky has become Bob’s avocation and he has shown these terriers in conformation since 2002. He can be found in rings from Orlando and Topeka to Detroit and Phil- adelphia. His youngest Cesky, Chalma’s Fiky Dzem (Jem), has just received her AKC Championship after receiving her Canadian Championship in 2012. Bob and wife Linda see the breeding of Cesky Terriers in their future and will base their line on Jem once she has completed her quest for other championship designations.
“The Cesky Terrier has appeared at Westminster and, IN EARLY 2013, THE CESKY RECEIVED ITS FIRST GROUP WIN IN CONFORMATION.”
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JUDGING THE CESKY TERRIER By Dann Wilson T he Cesky Terrier has had a long and arduous trail to AKC group-four recognition, garnering many enthusiasts along the way. Unique in col-
or as well as conformation, the breed is not altogether di ff erent from many of its ter- rier companions in the group — something to be emphasized when judging. Th is plucky terrier from the Czech Republic has been recognized the world over for many years. Soft-coat, long in body, and un-level topline begin the featured list of the breed, characteristics prevalent in many terriers that we’ve known for decades. Th is breed’s general appearance is of a small, sturdy, agile dog with keen expres- sion and temperament. Developed for pack hunting, the Cesky Terrier will go- to-ground after rabbits, badgers or foxes as well as give chase and catch prey above ground. Oblong in shape, it was designed to be narrower than the Sealyham to get into tighter warrens, and the coat pig- ment allows for a much more practical hunting terrier. Today the breed makes for a wonderful family pet. Its soft, wavy coat is easily maintained. Th e Cesky Ter- rier is a well-balanced breed, with fea- tures best described by moderate, slight, and gradual terms. Cesky Terriers come in two colors; grey is the most common, with brown/co ff ee so rare that only a handful of examples have been known to exist in the breed’s history. Young dogs going through coat color changes (greys are born black and fade to grey by two years of age) may show a brown cast to their coats which clears as dogs mature. Grey colors range from platinum to charcoal and everything in between, with no preference whatsoever. Many Cesky Terriers have quite accept- able white markings (blaze on chest, white toes); however, the white should not exceed
“...GREY IS THE MOST COMMON, WITH BROWN/COFFEE SO RARE that only a handful of examples have been known to exist in the breed’s history.”
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20% of the coat coloring. Brindling can occur but should be penalized. Brindle is often hard to recognize because the coat fades from black to some level of grey. Dark coats make the brindling easier to see, but as the coat fades, so do the markings. With other brindled breeds, coloring is often bi- colored (black on red, black on fawn, etc.), but brindling on the Cesky Terrier is evi- dent as grey on grey; dark and light striping is evident when you know what to look for. Th e topline is a very identi fi able trait of the Cesky Terrier that needs close atten- tion. Th e topline should be a gradual rise, starting in the loin and rising up to the rump. In a correct topline, the highest point of the pro fi le after the withers should be the rump. When the rise happens too quickly, it will give a roached appearance and the topline will fall mid-hip. Th is is not in keeping with the breed standard and should most de fi nitely be discouraged. Many feel that because the topline is not level, a “roached” back is correct; this is not an acceptable pro fi le for the breed.
Tails are carried relatively low. I say “relatively” because they do not have the spinal con fi guration of a Bedlington (where the spine drops o ff well before the tail) but have a con fi guration more like a Dandie Dinmont or Border Terrier (where the tail is a continuation of the spinal outline). When excited, a Cesky Terrier can bring its tail up relatively high for such a low set, but over-the-back carriage is indicative of a bad tail-set and perhaps of a questionable topline. When relaxed, the Cesky Terrier will drop its tail, which is part of the breed’s char- acter. It should not be tucked; hanging completely down is acceptable. When moving, they will bring the tail up, any- where from a very slight rise all the way to almost perpendicular. Judges in the terrier ring tend to favour exhibits with higher tail carriage as showing “true terrier” temperament. Th e measure of a Cesky Terrier’s temperament should not be the position of its tail, unless, of course, the tail is tucked.
Although the standard does not empha- size this, the Cesky Terrier is a true working terrier. Th ey were built for go-to-ground work as well as for chasing down prey above ground. Th ey should be very well muscled dogs, and the angulations of their front and rear should re fl ect this. Th ey are sprinters; their oblong shape, well-muscled shoulder and rump allow them to move with ease in an e ff ortless stride. Movement should be somewhat parallel since the chest is deep but rests between the forelegs and does not interfere with leg movement. Th e ribcage is oval in shape, not rounded. Fronts are relatively straight, elbows rest- ing along the sides of the ribcage. With the shortness of leg, forearms angle in only slightly from elbow to pastern. Th e stride of this terrier should exhibit purpose; it is not a “walking” terrier. Seasoned exhibi- tors know to give themselves some room on the go-around to allow the dogs to move out. Bear in mind, these dogs are bred to bolt after rabbits and foxes; they should show the reach and drive to do so.
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With respect to the head, think of a blunt wedge: not-too-broad skull tapering slightly to muzzle. Cheeks should be mod- erate, able to palpate but not protruding. Eyes are dark and almond-shaped. Ears are set on high, with fold on the same level as the top of the skull, not protruding above the skull. Th ey are triangular in shape with the forward edge of the ear staying close to the cheek—not fl aring out or hanging away from the head, from top to bottom. Ears are moderately sized and should not hang below the cheek. Large, pendulous ears should be faulted. Planes of the skull are not quite parallel and should show a slight but obvious stop. Th e temperament of the Cesky Ter- rier, according to the standard, is noted to be “reserved.” Th ey are curious about their surroundings yet wary of strangers. Unlike other breeds in the group who are all too happy to see a new face, the Cesky Terrier does not exude this behav- iour. Often aloof, they should never be shy and should, by all means, stand for exam. When judging, if you show bait to a Cesky Terrier, it most likely will
show signi fi cant interest. Most will do anything for food! Keep in mind that the Cesky Terrier was developed to hunt in packs, something that was di ffi cult if not impossible for terriers with more “ fi ght” in them - like the Scottie. Th is is NOT a sparring breed; in this regard, they are more similar to Bedlington and Border Terriers. Th is wonderful Czech breed, with all of the di ff erences and similarities to many of AKC’s well-established ter- rier breeds, is enjoying a great deal of attention since entering the AKC Terrier Group in June of 2011. Understanding aspects of this “new kid on the block” is important for both judge and ringside observers as well as this breed’s exhibi- tors, owners and breeders. It has been a long road getting here; the work is just beginning as we create an aware- ness of the fi ner points of this beautiful Bohemian breed of terrier. BIO Dann Wilson has been active in the sport of purebred dogs for almost 25 years.
His first breed was Airedale Terrier and in 1994 he started with the first Cesky Ter- riers in Canada. He is one of 2 founding members of the Canadian National Cesky Terrier Club, and has been an active mem- ber since that time, holding o ffi ces of Presi- dent, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Newsletter Editor and Web Master. He has travelled extensively to the Czech Republic and has made many friends in the breed, including the breed’s developer Frantisek Horak, in 1995. He has visited Mr. Horak’s daughter, Jitka Paulinova, who carries on the family involvement in the breed, on many occasions. On these visits, he attended the Cesky Terrier world symposium numerous times, meeting breed- ers and enthusiasts from all over Europe, UK, North America and Australia. Dann is currently the
head of the judges Educa- tion Committee for the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association, Inc. He is permitted to judge 14 terrier breeds by the Canadian Kennel Club.
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What Makes a Cesky Terrier A CESKY TERRIER?
BY JULIE GRITTEN AND BOB COMER
T hose of us who are privileged to understand and know the Cesky Terrier recognize it by three distinguished assets. One, it is a well-muscled, short-legged hunting dog that originated in the Czech Republic. Two, it is a hunting machine that seeks prey both above and below ground in the most primitive of environments and, most importantly, does so gladly alongside its brothers and sisters. It’s pack- friendly; Three, and foremost, it is the ideal example of the proverbial dic- tum that form follows function. We can perhaps draw an analogy between a professional athlete and the Cesky. Anatomically, there are ideal specifications for both. Being well-mus- cled is, of course, necessary for the task at hand, as is stamina for longevity at the task. A low center of gravity (being short-legged) makes it easier for the Cesky to move in all directions in an instant and remain upright while doing so; even if the task is dedicated to making sure it does not stand erect. All of the following elements contribute to the Cesky’s success at its task as a professional hunter. The hallmark of the breed is its unique topline; it is essential to breed type. The slight rise of the topline begins at the last thoracic rib and runs to the highest point on the hip bone, with a slight, gradual drop to the root of the tail following the diagonal of the sloping croup. This topline should nev- er be flat or tabletop as in the Scottish Terrier nor as deeply curved as a Dan- die Dinmont. The best way to evaluate this feature is to think of a smooth, rolling ocean wave and you will have the ideal silhouette of the Cesky. The Cesky Terrier also measures slightly longer from the withers to the root of the tail, making it a rectangular dog rather than a square one. In order to create a balance in the Cesky Terrier, the length of the topline from withers to root of the tail should be twice the length of its head and neck combined. Going back to the well-muscled descriptor, the neck, shoulders, and hindquarters are graciously muscled to facilitate the Cesky’s motion through a burrow where it searches for hare, badger, and other below ground-dwell- ing game. The same skeletal structure serves to endow the Cesky with speed above ground, and anyone watching a Cesky run an agility course under- stands this. Anatomically, the longer length from the point in the proster- num to the point of the rump is longer than the length of the distance from the withers to the ground. Proportionally and ideally, the Cesky needs to be 1 to 1-1/2 (sternum to rump).
The Ideal Cesky Terrier
Ceskys Hunting in a Pack
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WHAT MAKES A CESKY TERRIER A CESKY TERRIER?
The longer loin of the Cesky facilitates their hunting, acting as a loaded spring, aiding balance as well as agile turning. A short- backed, nearly square dog is highly undesirable as is a Cesky that is high in the rear. A Cesky that is high in the rear has the potential to damage itself by placing added pressure on its front end. The square Cesky does not have the “spring” in the loin that is a much- needed attribute to function well in the field. There is a certain grace in a well-formed Cesky that presents an elegant yet strong head that flows into the neck, and a neck that has a slightly forward arch that sits smoothly and almost fluidly and gracefully into firm, well-muscled shoulders. The head should look elegant and not be coarse, thick or heavy in appearance. It should also be rectangular in shape. A ewe neck is highly undesirable as is a coarse, cloddy, short neck or a thickly loaded neck. The shoul- der blade muscles are structurally superior to withstand the force exerted on it while engaged in performing its intended purpose of dispatching game. The front paws are larger and well-padded, again, for pursuit underground. The hindquarters are built larger and are very mus- cular for extracting prey from dens or burrows. They should not, however, possess the breadth nor the width of the Scottish Ter- rier or the Sealyham. (See Diagram A., Hana’s Book.) The teeth, especially the canines, are seriously hunting-oriented and they hide a cavernous jaw that speaks of a hunting Terrier bigger than the Cesky. Additional anatomical inspection reveals more about the concept of form following function. The Cesky is, above all, long,
Side of Cesky Showing Coat
low, and lean yet well-muscled. Its rib cage when felt with the palm of your hand is more elliptical than barrel-shaped. Think again of a burrow-oriented hunting dog capable of fieldwork whose main area of expertise is the Danube River basin of the Czech Republic. Right down to the coat, the Cesky Terrier is a hunting Terrier. The fall over the eyes, the furnishings, and the other details of the coat are burrow- and field-oriented. They function as protection. The coat should be silky, smooth, and with a slight wave, though never curly as in a Kerry or Wheaten Terrier. A cottony, wooly coat is highly undesirable, as it is prone to collecting debris and retain- ing a great deal of moisture. The intent of the cut of the coat is to emphasize a well-muscled, yet elegant, hunting dog. The hair of the topline may be slightly wavy, but it should not be more than one-half inch as stated in the Standard. The furnishings of the lower portion of the dog serve as protection in the field and should be of firm texture and fine, with a slight wave. As stated in the AKC Standard, the coat of the head, lower portion of the neck, shoul- ders, thighs, rump, and tail is “quite short” but blended smoothly into the topline. When born, Ceskys are either black or brown. Those born black mature into dogs that range in varying shades of grey from charcoal to platinum gray. Those born brown mature into dogs that are chocolate to tan. Frantisek Horak, the person who gave birth to the ideal of the Cesky, was, for a while, enamored of the Scottish Terrier. He spent a number of years believing that the Scotty was his ideal hunting dog for the Danube River Basin—and it was almost his ideal dog. The problem was, the Scotties that he owned and bred spent more time scrapping with one another while hunting than they did actu- ally hunting. A friend who understood his dilemma recommended he look at the Sealyham. Horak saw advantages to both breeds and wondered if a breeding might bring him the dog he sought. He spent well over a decade researching the concept, studying both breeds, and finally, four years after the conclusion of World War II, he conducted the breeding. Some years after that, he sought and obtained FCI approval for this new breed.
Head, Neck, and Shoulder-Set
Cesky Running at a Wild Pig
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WHAT MAKES A CESKY TERRIER A CESKY TERRIER?
For Horak, getting the “correct” temperament was a major breakthrough. Unfortunately, the Cesky Terrier has, sometimes, received a bad rap for not being “A True Terrier” because of it. The reason? The Cesky is decidedly reserved and, seemingly, does not have the Terrier “fire” and, therefore, does not spar—for good reason. It is a pack-friendly hunting dog. The Cesky is quiet, yet attentive and focused. The tail carriage is sometimes unique to this reserved and rather stoic breed; carried in a saber-like fashion either down, in an S-curve, or at a 1 o’clock position. A tail carried much over the back is incorrect for the breed and can denote an incorrect topline. However, the tail carriage is not an indicator of Cesky temperament, save when it is clamped between its legs which is an indication of discomfort in a situation. It would be a mistake, however, to let the Cesky’s reserved demeanor fool you. In its homeland, the Cesky routinely trains to pursue native burrow- dwelling animals, and is also regularly used for tracking such game as wild boar, deer, fox, and marten. Anyone watching a Cesky pursue prey 10-15 times its weight or more has no doubt about the Cesky Terrier’s “fire.” They are first-rate hunting Terriers. Of course, this begs the questions: Are Cesky Terriers good pets and do I want one? Are they too hunting-oriented? The definitive answer to the first question is, “Yes.” And while hunting-oriented, Ceskys are companions that are loyal to a fault. They are protectors of the family, and for those “in the know” they are the world’s greatest couch potatoes. They are hypoallergenic, clippered, and thus, relatively easy to maintain. They are also very routine- oriented. However, there are two cautions to owning a Cesky Terrier. One, they cannot be left alone with food as they can literally eat themselves into oblivion. Daily feedings of only a specific amount are necessary, and toys, save those made of the most durable rubber, cannot be given to a Cesky. They can destroy most any toy whose label says otherwise; they will even- tually chip away at solid rubber toys. Life expectancy of solid rubber is no more than 3-4 weeks, if that. And this begs the second cautionary question: “Do they chew and cause unnecessary destruction?” No, they do not. In this respect, they are like any other dog. The mindset of Frantisek Horak is revealed through his notes, studies, and copious writings. Those of us in the AKC parent club, the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association (ACTFA), are truly grateful to our Czech counterparts for sharing this information.
Boy with Three Ceskys in the Grass
Julie Gritten is an AKC Breeder of Merit for the Cesky Terrier, as well as an AKC Judges’ Mentor. She has served as the Recording Secretary for the Board of Directors of the AKC parent club, the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association (ACTFA). She has also filled numerous chair positions, including Show and Hospitality, during significant mileposts in the development of the parent club as it obtained AKC Member Status. Most importantly, in developing the vision of the Cesky, Julie regularly communicates with breeders in the Czech Republic. She is well-versed in the FCI Cesky Standard and the AKC Cesky Standard, and in Cesky History. She is a breeder/owner-handler and has won numerous AKC Conformation events as well as achieving Working Dog and Performance awards and titles for her Ceskys. Bob Comer is a founding member of ACTFA and served as one of its original Directors. From 2012 to 2015, he served as its President and has been its Judges’ Education Chairman since 2016. “Owning, training, and handling Cesky Terriers is an avocation,” Bob says. “I do it because it is fun and I love the breed.” From 2012-2018, that love for the breed has helped him train and handle one AKC Grand Champion and Canadian Kennel Club Champion and one AKC Champion. Bob retired from the ring in 2019.
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THE Cesky Terrier E veryone judging Terriers has a breed standard to which he or she can refer. Sometimes, however, in a group that is so diverse beyond “essential terrier char- BY BOB COMER
acteristics”, a judge might wonder how to fairly eval- uate the individual members of this unique Group. As a part of this diverse collection, the Cesky Terrier is perhaps even less easily critiqued. Why? It could be the Cesky’s relatively recent entry into the Group that makes it largely unknown. Its small population in the US may also make it less recognizable. Maybe more tradition-bound judges rely exclusively on more general Terrier character- istics. For example, a Terrier must spar or must be hand stripped. Neither is true of the Cesky. Con- ceivably it could be a lack of formal classroom edu- cation. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to understand why a judge may have concerns about the Cesky ranging from it variation in size, color and tempera- ment to its gait, tail carriage, etc. What is a Cesky Terrier supposed to be? Simply, it was created to be a pack-friendly hunting dog that worked the watershed area about the Danube River in the Czech Republic. This is an environment of bogs, thickets, thick forests, fields and burrows. Here the Cesky stalked rabbit, fox, other burrow dwelling creatures as well as deer, wild pig and boar. The new Cesky Terrier Standard approved by AKC on July 11, 2017 was refined from its original version to approximate its European counterpart and the original design of the Cesky creator Fran- tisek Horak. For those who understand this new Standard, appreciate the hunting terrain, as well as the dog’s mission as a hunter, questions about its design and nature give way to genuine education.
Above: It took over 2 decades for the Cesky’s creator, Frantisek Horak, to realize his dream of a pack-friendly hunting dog.
Eager to the hunt, the Cesky races to contain a wild pig.
Size matters. Dimensions specifically stated in the Standard should be followed. Those dimensions in conjunction with how they fit together in the dog (proportionality) are crucial. It is understandable why a muscular, 25 to 28 pound male Cesky would catch a Terrier judge’s attention. However, that Cesky should weigh 22 pounds which is the top of the ideal weight range in the Standard. A lighter-weight dog would fare far better navigating the terrain of his native country. Some judges in the Czech Republic think American Ceskeys are “too big” and/or “too fat”. A Cesky Ter- rier, dog or bitch, must be lean, solid and compact to do the job for which the breed was developed.
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Cesky color comes from the genetic variabilities in breeding a Scottish Terrier to a Sealyham Terrier—Greys to Platinum to Coffee to Brown.
Proportionality in the distribution of body mass, whether the Cesky is 13 or 22 pounds, is also important, as is gait, i.e. the manner in which the Cesky carries that mass. There is a certain drive and reach a well-proportioned Cesky has. Consider a low center of gravity in an NFL running back. Like a ball player, a hunting Cesky must make sharp turns, explode with speed and energy when giving chase or move lat- erally instantly if prey 10 times its weight comes charging toward it. The gait must be effortless, free of any encumbrances and show endurance. Therefore, the descriptor “a well-muscled, short legged hunting Ter- rier” is applicable. Even a skeptic cannot imagine an overweight, ill-proportioned and out of shape athlete as successful. Why is the Cesky temperament described as ‘somewhat reserved towards strangers’? It’s a pack friendly hunting dog. Its creator, Frantisek Horak, became disen- chanted hunting with Scotties. He believed, rightly or wrongly, that Scotties spent more time attacking one another than pursuing their quarry. To offset this self-aggressive pack mentality, Horak spent years look- ing for the right Terrier (the Sealyham) to breed with his still beloved Scotties.
Hence, Ceskeys typically do not spar at home and are not to be sparred in the show ring. Owners of multiple Ceskeys will tell you they thrive in an environment of “the more the merrier.” As one owner put it, “They can form a daisy chain of butt sniff- ers and no one minds.” Outside the pack this same non-aggres- sive, reserved character trait responds to a kinder, gentler judge’s hand. Cesky han- dlers complain about judges wearing hats, approaching the dog from behind or over the dog’s shoulder, making sudden gestures or movements or exhibiting any aggressive behavior. Lest a judge believe them coward- ly, wild pig or boar hunters can dispel that rumor. A Cesky will make up its own mind about what it considers a threat. Color does vary and is part of the Stan- dard. Born black or chocolate brown, the Cesky can become any shade of grey from charcoal to platinum. They can also be light coffee color. The overall color of any individual Cesky must be uniform. The Standard is very specific about deviations in color; brindling is also addressed. It is worth noting that the variations in color were gen- erated by the genetic variabilities of breed- ing a Scotty and a Sealy.
The term “designer dog” has been used to describe the breed, and they are... like the Labrador Retrievers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Doberman Pinschers and Border Collies. Like the vast majority of AKC-recognized dog breeds, the Cesky Terrier was developed to do a specific task, and do it well. Clearly, anyone knowing the length of time Mr. Horak took to develop the Cesky would never use this “dog in a minute” term. Frantisek Horak worked from the 1920’s and into 1948 before he achieved his dream of a Cesky Terrier. The Cesky’s tail is another consideration. How it is carried is not a clear indication of the dog’s state of mind save when it is tucked between its legs. A tucked tail is a sign of distress. Normally the Cesky Terrier carries its tail down and anywhere between there and up and sabre-like. Compare anatomy in people. Some folks stand straight, some lean forward, and some outright slump. That variability defines the nature of the Cesky tail as well. The Standard addresses the undesirable “squirrel tail” or a “tail touching the back”. The Cesky tail carriage may not be what more traditional judges are used to seeing, but it is the Cesky tail and the Standard.
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THE CESKY TERRIER
Other aspects of the animal require scrutiny. The ratio of the height of the dog at the withers to its length (sternum to buttocks) is 1:1.5. Specific ideal dimensions are in the Standard. Questions to be asked are: Does the top line rise slightly from the withers (lowest point) to the loin and rump (highest point)? When critiquing this, determine whether the rise ends prematurely giving the dog an arched back with the highest point in the middle of the spine or is the top line flat. Sometimes positioning gives either effect and is the fault of the handler. Does the tail begin at the distal most aspect of the spine in the descent to the rump? If not, the dog presents a tail set either too high or too low. Is the body lean and proportioned? Judges should not see rolls to the skin or a tummy that isn’t tucked up. From above, is the dog shaped like an artillery shell? The distal outline of the lungs and the hips forming the case of the shell. Does the dog move effortlessly? Given these attributes it is readily understandable why the Cesky is a creature of the burrow as well as the thicket. When checking dimensions, again the questions a judge should ask are: Is the head 7-8" from the notch at the back of the head to the tip of the nose and is there a 3-4" space between the ears? Conse- quently, when viewing the Cesky’s head from above and applying the standard’s criteria defining the head and muzzle does this portion of the dog’s anat- omy look like a long blunt wedge? And, is this not an ideal tool for hitting prey? Are the ears dropped forming a triangle, the bend of which does not rise over the crown of the skull? Do the forward edges of the ears lay close to the cheek? It stands to reason that having these traits, a Cesky pursuing prey in the burrow would have these body parts tight to its frame? The Cesky fall, of course, protects the eyes. Full dentition is required in the Cesky Standard. In any hunting dog this is critical. When examining the Cesky, don’t just look at the teeth from canines forward. Most importantly, do those lower canines fit easily and smoothly into the notches either side of the mouth in the upper set of teeth? This is the “locking” mechanism to hold prey.
Tail carriage is not a clear indication of the dog’s state of mind. Down, straight or sabre-like are typical carriages.
The Cesky topline rises slightly from the withers (lowest point) to the loin and rump (highest point). The tail set begins at the distal most aspect of the spine in the descent to the rump.
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THE CESKY TERRIER
The chest should be cylindrical and well sprung. A judge should place a hand between the dog’s front legs and let the dog’s chest rest there. A judge’s hand should only feel the cen- ter of the rib cage. The rest of the chest rises up and out. With the chest down and flat, the Cesky would be a wide body and unfit for a burrow. For the same reason, the set of the shoulders, and the shape of the legs and feet, are also important. The shoulders are muscular, well laid back and powerful. The elbows fit closely to the sides of the animal presenting a compact, no wasted motion to the gait; again similar to an athlete. Forelegs are short, straight, well boned and parallel. Forefeet are large with well-developed pads. In the hindquarters, the thighs are longer in proportion to the lower leg with the stifle well bent. Hind feet are smaller, with smaller, but equally well developed pads. Everything here is predicated on digging, moving underground, capturing and bringing the prey out of the burrow or simply dragging bigger prey across a field. Judges know how important a standard is. Perhaps what should be stressed in Judges’ Education is how the breed was created and/or refined to facilitate its mission and how the standard is meant to give the judge a guideline in present- ing awards to animals who best present traits that exemplify that mission. Judges wishing further clarification on the Cesky Standard or on Cesky anatomy are invited to contact the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association for a Judg- es’ Education Slide Presentation as well as a copy of the new standard. Classroom seminars may also be arranged. Contact ceskyTerrierfanciers.org.
The Standard defines the anatomy important to a dog hunting prey in burrows as well as above ground.
When judging the Cesky it is important to understand that when all the nuances of the Standard are clearly understood, there’s no question concerning the animal’s worth as a proven Terrier.
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W hen you observe Cesky Terriers in a group of other terriers, you notice one thing. They are so calm! While all around them Terriers are barking, quarreling, and bouncing around, you will see Ceskys just sitting beside their owners or handlers just taking it all in. When Frank Horak, avid Czechoslovakian hunter and genetic researcher, crossed his first Scottie and Sealyham Terriers in 1949, one of his primary goals was to develop an upland game hunting breed that was not quarrelsome and could be housed together and would easily hunt in packs. The result is a calm, slightly reserved, fiercely loyal dog that makes an ideal pet and companion. This natural reserve places the Cesky at a disadvantage at times in the Terrier Group ring. The breed standard calls for a calm and kind disposition, alert, but non-aggressive. Ceskys are never sparred in the ring. Between 1949 and the mid-1960s, Mr. Horak’s ken- nel, Lovu Zdar (Czech for “hunting success”) bred dogs produced from the original Scottie-Sealyham matings until he fixed the qualities of the breed he was looking for—small, light, mobile, well-pigmented and an easy temperament. This national breed of the Czech Repub- lic was accepted for FCI registration in 1963 and was accepted into the Terrier Group by the AKC in 2011.
BY GLENN DORSEY
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THE CESKY TERRIER
“THE CESKY HAS A RATIO OF 1.5 LENGTH TO 1.0 HEIGHT MAKING THIS A LONG, SHORT-LEGGED BREED. THIS FEATURE ALONG WITH A LONG, WELL-MUSCLED NECK MAKES THE BREED IDEAL FOR TRACKING AND TRAILING, MOVING FAST WITH HIS NOSE CLOSE TO THE GROUND.”
when a light dog appears in the ring with more “traditional” grey dogs, it is striking. But closer inspection shows that this dog is not white (like a Sealyham, for example). Addition- ally, Ceskys with the dominant black and tan genotype often have mark- ings that fade to a very light tan again giving the appearance of more than 20% white markings. Again, closer inspection reveals light tan furnish- ings rather than white. Lighter Ceskys are appearing in the US Cesky population, so this issue should soon be less problematic as these light dogs become less of a minority. The Cesky has a ratio of 1.5 length to 1.0 height making this a long, short-legged breed. This feature along with a long, well-muscled neck makes the breed ideal for tracking and trail- ing, moving fast with his nose close to the ground. For example, they are used in their native Czech Republic for wild-boar hunting and given the responsibility for tracking this game and flushing it from the brush. They are also used for finding small game and will enthusiastically go to ground after them. The predominant impression of a Cesky is a “well-muscled” dog. The standard uses this term over and over
Ceskys come in shades of grey. This is one of the breeds that carries the gene that causes the coat color to lighten with age (the “G” pigmenta- tion gene that has yet to be located on the canine genome), and the effect is more dramatic than in any other breed. Cesky puppies are born either solid black or black with tan mark- ings. Normally by the age of two, the black has lightened to grey and the tan markings have lightened to very light tan. This often places puppies and adolescents between six and 24 months in the uncomfortable posi- tion of appearing mottled or brindled as their coat changes from black to grey at different rates. This is nor- mally resolved by age two (as required by the standard). Some white markings are per- mitted and appear frequently on the chest, but no more than 20% of the pigmentation should be white. Pig- mentation issues sometimes arise in the ring over this “white” pigmenta- tion requirement for several reasons. The (“G”) or greying gene can cause very pronounced lightening in some Cesky Terriers producing dogs that are a very light platinum. These light platinum dogs are much more com- mon in Europe than in the US, and
The range of the grey color of the Ceksy
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